(Full Metal Records) Enslain Magazine Issue 10 In a scene as overpopulated as that of modern death/thrash metal, it's not easy for a band to stick out favorably. Murdershock, however, manage to deliver their goods with such extreme aggression, tightness and skill that most other groups barely stand a chance. After a couple of high-quality independent releases and some years of diligent gigging, I already knew what to expect from their debut album: an intense and modern fusion of death and thrash metal.
Fortunately, Murdershock haven't chosen the easy way of compiling their best demo songs onto their debut, but instead present entirely new material, with the exception of two hard-hitting live favorites, originally recorded on the Inside My Insanity MCD. Varying between fast and mid-tempo throughout the songs, the pace often slows down for memorable scream-along choruses. I find the material most enjoyable at its extremes, like in the insanely raging start of "Broken Dreams, Broken Bones" and in the slowly creeping atmospheric parts of "Lunarcentric". It sometimes feels as though the songs are stuffed with tempo changes, while the band might have been better off concentrating on fast blasting or a more down-tempo approach on a whole song. At least they don't allow the more demanding listeners to get bored, but at times it just feels like there is a little too much happening within one song. While the title track gives the album an ass-kicking start, and the highlights are reached a little after halfway through, the couple last tracks don't manage to hold my interest quite as well.
While the members are clearly no amateurs, vocalist Oku's performance especially stands out with its utmost ferocity. His raspy yelling is filled with a fury that is rarely heard in this kind of music, and his low growls come out equally convincing. Even more variation is added by the vocalists of fellow death-thrashers Dauntless and Ghost Guard, who lend their abilities on "Beholder of Truth". Apart from some spoken parts that sometimes even come close to singing, though still remaining heavily distorted, the band haven't started ruining their working formula by experimenting with clean vocals. I'm especially delighted by how the vocals remain harsh in the low-tuned melodic chorus of "No God", a part that many a band would have fucked up with some irritating crying.
The main reason that this debut stands out is the promise it shows of what Murdershock is capable of becoming. Despite its flaws, Reasoning Insanity is a real fist in the face, and proves that reinventing the wheel isn't the only way to stand out from the masses.